I have written before about Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), the chronic, degenerative inflammatory arthritic disease which I was diagnosed as having back in 1985. According to new figures from the CDC, there are as many as 1.4 million people with AS in North America, and possibly as many as 2.4 million. AS affects more people than Multiple Sclerosis, Cystic Fibrosis and Lou Gehrig's disease combined. According to the new CDC figures, it also now affects more people than are affected by Rheumatoid Arthritis.
AS is a devastating, often painful and debilitating disease which can fuse the neck and spine and cause a variety of other problems. My neck and spine have been totally fused since 1989.
Tomorrow, August 30th, Joel Stratte-McClure, an American journalist/adventurer whose articles on a variety of subjects have appeared in The International Herald Tribune, Time Magazine, The London Times and People Magazine will be swimming 4 and a half kilometers as part of the annual Hellespont swim across the Mediterranean Sea and dedicating his efforts to the Spondylitis Association of America and their fight to raise awareness of, and find a cure for, Ankylosing Spondylitis. You can support the Spondylitis Association by making a donation per kilometer of Joel's swim:
To learn more go to www.spondylitis.org/swimtrek.aspx